Profile PictureMahmoud Rasmi

Reflections of a bridge dweller on a hot summer day

Dear all,

Sending cold emails in this summer heat is quite the challenge.

I have just finished listening to Alfie Kohn's 'Punished by Rewards' upon the recommendation of Daniel Vassallo. It's an excellent book that might sound counterintuitive to many.

The gist of the book is that if you rely on incentives to motivate people, this only temporarily changes their behavior. When these incentives are eliminated, chances are the majority would revert back to their previous routine.

This got me thinking about the different marketing strategies adopted by businesses, academic institutions, and creators in general. To motivate people to consume a certain product, the focus is usually on some sort of external value provided by the product itself, sometimes a certificate, other times a metric of some sort that would prove its usefulness.

This, of course, made me evaluate my strategies to market my courses. I came to realize that I have been unknowingly adopting Kohn's strategy throughout my academic career, and now during whatever this thing I'm doing is: always dissuading students from focusing on grades, highlighting the uselessness of philosophy and the pointlessness of my courses, and often times discouraging people from signing up if they thought these courses are going to be giving them answers or a sense of certainty.

The main takeaway from all this is that, if you're not intrinsically motivated to pursue a particular topic, then obviously the courses are not for you. It might sound trivial, but it's quite insightful to me in order to refine my communication and marketing strategies. In other words, I'm most probably putting myself out of business.

If you've read that far, here's a reminder for the upcoming courses. Become a bridge dweller with Puentica!

August, starting on Tuesday 9th: Cosmology, led by Philippe Caponis

September: Islamic Philosophy, led by Hani Hassan & Philippe Caponis

October: Philosophy, literature, and language, led by Colin Gorie & Philippe Caponis

November: Knowledge & Reality, led by Philippe Caponis

December: Uncertainty, Athleticism, and Ancient Greek Virtues led by Guruanaerobic, Urtats, and Jordan Goldstein.

Cheers!

Decaf

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